Repurposed

I have strong feelings towards recycling objects as I frequently feel like my new life is me being recycled. I have been drawn toward the antique keys at the local fairs and began collecting them. I already had the stamp kits to make jewelry and stamp on old silverware to stick in the garden. So when my daughter asked if we could stamp some words for her on some keys she really loved it was the perfect activity. She chose to stamp “home” and “courage” on her keys. Once we started we just didn’t want to stop until we thought of all the words we could and we ran out of keys. We’ve been taking turn wearing the different ones depending on our moods. One day just for fun I posted a few on a brand new Easy shop called BoBelleCo that we started together using a blend of our names. We’ve only sold a few keys but its been such a fun thing to learn and do together.

My daughter is at girls camp this week and last week was with her dad so I feel like we haven’t had a lot of time together lately. I know it’s important to find ways to hang out with her while she has the time and interest. Lots of days she is so busy chatting with her friends by video I have a hard time getting a personal conversation in.

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Let it Go

I remember the night in the hospital when I held my first child, a son. I wrote graduation speeches, practiced wedding toasts. I was a little delirious from the drugs I admit. But I don’t think I’m the only one that begins to plan their future from the first moment

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Not many of my plans worked out very well. Turns out kids come with their own personality and this spawns ideas and plans of their own. Some days I love the ride and the journey of it, they are so much more then I could have ever imagined. Some days I feel like my heart is breaking from the pain and loss, to see them go down hard paths that won’t end well. When they blame you for everything, point out all your faults in detail. Those days suck.

I find it’s important to let go. Let go of the fantasy, let go of the planning, it’s practice for letting them go. I can’t believe my son graduates from high school in 2 short weeks! I can’t wait to be done with his life in high school! School with him has been difficult. He is very smart but not at all interested in sitting in a class room.

A few weeks ago our church put together a night to celebrate all the graduates. They asked the parents to submit photos of their child growing up and prepare a small speech about their child. I didn’t know about it until 10 minutes after it ended. My ex didn’t tell me about it and he was receiving all the emails and requests. He called right after it ended to casually mention where they had been. I have been the photographer of their lives, the keeper of the scrapbooks and photo albums. I have been waiting to show anyone my kids growing up. My ex sent in a few pictures he had on his phone and Facebook. My son had half the time the other kids had. I have had a really hard time letting this one go. I called my son and cried that I hadn’t been there and that I hadn’t known. He laughed and told me he hadn’t even wanted to go and didn’t know I wasn’t invited. But this is my child who has always been sensitive to things and people around him, I know somewhere inside it was another strike on him from the divorce.

Next week he gets his yearbook. I made his senior post and chose the pictures and the really awesome Tony Hawk quote (my son is a major skateboarder lol). I have that.

Upcyled

Upcyle is one of my new favorite words to follow on hashtags. I love seeing what people do with their trash and used items. I’m so impressed with the ideas I find.

Several years ago when my kids were young it seemed like I was buying new glassware on a regular basis. They were either broken or lost so constantly I felt like the glasses were a disposable item. I stopped buying nice glasses and bought IKEA glassware.

I began to notice how cute the jars were in my fridge. The artichoke heart jar, the jalapeño jar and my new set of glasses came to life. I admit it has become a bit of a problem. I have such a hard time throwing away jars now. I really don’t need another Paul Newman spaghetti jar but it seems such a waste to recycle it in the regular recycle  bins. I have even bought some food items just for the jars, Whole Foods sells the cutest little yogurt in a tiny glass jar that is adorable for juice or when I need to drink my shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning! The Bonne Maman preserves costs a bit more then the Smuckers but the jar opening is larger making a much better cup! Plus it’s almost my name on the glass which is another bonus lol.

Another upside of my jar addiction are the adorable vases they make!! My daughter has taken a few that she loved and painted the inside of them for makeup brush holders and it warms my heart to see the upcyling continuing on.

Positive F*%#ing Talk

I have a secret love of inspirational and funny memes on social media. I try to not post them because thats not the look I am going for, and I admit I have banned friends because they post too many memes of rainbows and kittens with happy sayings. But really sometimes they do say exactly what I need to hear with the perfect picture. I’ve tried to create my own using quotes I like, with my own pictures but it doesn’t work out quite as nice.

I will also admit that I have a collection of inspirational memes that all contain the F-bomb. For some reason there are days when they just work so much better then other ones. I don’t usually use that word when I’m speaking so maybe the forbidden nature of it tickles my funny bone when I’m feeling down. I have one brother who enjoys trading these gems with me in texts whenever we find a good one.

My natural tendency isn’t to talk very nice to myself. I tend to have a lot of negative talk in my head actually. I have put up nice pictures with inspirational saying where I can see them and I started an anonymous  Instagram account to post all those memes I can’t post on my regular account lol. I read one today that had a quote from the book, “The Secret.” It says;

This is your life, and it’s been waiting for you to discover it. Up until now you may have been thinking that life is hard and a struggle, and so by the law of attraction you will have experienced life as hard and a struggle. Begin right now to shout to the universe, “Life is so good! All good things come to me!”

I’ve been trying it for a day now, I’m not saying I’m prepared to go buy the book and learn all the secrets but it was a well timed reminder. After all my very good friend likes to remind me I have a great life. Yes I’m going through hard things but it’s life great!

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Late Night Snacks and Giggles

This is the last night of the 2nd successful week of my kids staying with me full time during the school year. I was very nervous about it and I’m not sure they wanted to try it, but their dad was ready for it which made it happen like it or not. And I’ve loved it. So wonderful to have so much time with them again. I love cuddling my daughter and giggling under the blankets, for a few minutes she forgets she is a teenager and too cool for it.

Tonight she had her makeup off, in bed and comfy, when she realized she was hungry. This is great news, she has been so sick all week and not eating enough. So we had a lovely time warming up tomato soup which she loves with some blue cheese crumbles on top and I pan toasted some gluten free bread since I don’t have a toaster or bread with gluten in it lol. Its the small moments that are so wonderful and I hug them close to my heart.

I’ve tried several tomato soup recipes and this one I really enjoyed. It has a bunch of chopped carrots and whole tomatoes which makes me really feel like we are getting all our veggies in the soup and not just a can of V8. I got this off the Pioneer Woman blog and I love her pictures and casual explanations.

Parenting Blues

One of my sons is 18 and a senior in high school. He actually turned 18 about 7 weeks into senior year because the cut off in the state we live is Sept 1. Its both hard and nice to be one of the oldest in school. I think it was wonderful when he was in kindergarten and first grade when it was tough to sit still for so long, especially for boys.

Now that he is 18 and just dying to be graduated it’s harder. At 18 you are technically a man, and yet you live at home as a student.

So imagine my 18 man/child calls me with his girlfriend to say he’s going to dye his hair blue. This is my handsome tall, blonde son. I’m not a fan of blue hair, especially on boys. Honestly it makes me sing the “My Little Pony” song in my head, and I want to put pretty bows in it. But he’s 18 and it’s his hair. I told him; I didn’t think it was a good idea, its a tough color to really fix after, he’s about to have senior prom and all sorts of important things and lastly his dad will have a fit, along with his paternal  grandparents who live in the area. But ultimately it’s his hair, I just didn’t think it was a great idea.

So they did it. Bright, BRIGHT blue.

His dad, my ex, had a major fit. He called me quite angry that I didn’t tell our son no. I explained that I had said it wasn’t good idea and I didn’t want him to do it, but for all the reasons above I didn’t just say no. Because I don’t feel it would do any good, and at his age he can make decisions. I was given long lecture by the ex who is an attorney and can be very long winded. He picked apart all my wording just like I was on the witness stand.  And I ended it by saying when I told our 20 year old son no tattoos, did it stop him? No. When that same son wanted his nose pierced and I said no, did it stop him? No.

When I talk about this it sounds like I’ve raised some interesting kids, blue hair, tattoos, nose rings… lol and it wasn’t the way I raised them. We taught them to be pretty straight laced. I’m not sure whats going on. Other then they are strong boys with creative ideas and a desire to standout. Hopefully they will find even better ways as they grow and mature.

I don’t think I was wrong. I don’t think putting my foot down and forbidding him to dye his hair was the right thing. And it is just hair. And in 4 months he leaves for a service mission for our church where he will be very clean cut. I think he wants to get it out of his system now and I completely get it. Maybe I should remind his father about what he did to his hair and ears when he was a senior in high school… But would that do any good? No.

Post note, I saw a wonderful article on Huffington Post this morning about a  woman dying her hair blue. And I’m sure it was the universe talking back to me after I wrote this article! Wonderful read!

Bedtime in Fort Worth

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I have a love of sleeping and sunshine. Anytime I can put the two together I am in a happy place! After not sleeping for around 48 hours, seeing my hotel bed bathed in streams of sunset I was out for the count. I managed to mumble an apology to my son for going to sleep before 8pm and invited  him to rent a movie if he got bored and I remember nothing more.

Oh Monday.

Wow Monday jokes are all based in truth. This was a busy day. I worked everyday last week on a movie set that was an hour a way and had a minimum of 14 hours of work on my feet. Crazy but worth it. I left set Thursday morning around 4am drove an hour to get my son so we could drive an hour to the airport to travel out of state for a meet he had in Fort Worth. We didn’t want to waste a day of exploring so I didn’t get to sleep until Friday night. It was just a whirlwind of a weekend, so today was my first chance to catch up on the home front.

I think being so exhausted from last week set me up for a rough afternoon. I really should keep a box of tissues in my car since I end up crying as I drive a ridiculous amount of time.

Two of the 3 kids still at home were over for dinner and that was lovely, I even made them gluten full cookies so I wouldn’t/couldn’t eat any. lol the funny thing is they ate one cookie and instead we ate a mango. I love these guys.

I was laying in bed with my daughter talking about her day and I closed my eyes for a minute. When I opened them she was really close looking at me and she says

“You look really old. You look like a grandma. You have wrinkles here and here and here…”

I kissed her forehead and left her to dream. And here is a lovely picture of me from this weekend to show I do not look like a grandma. Maybe I have a few more wrinkles then Chris Pratt but how can you even notice them when I’m standing next to him? lol

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Passenger View

Taking control of my life landed me in the passenger seat of a RV on an amazing road trip. It was so fun in many ways, I have been the driver for the last 20 years on all family road trips, I love driving but it makes it hard to enjoy the scenery. I’m fascinated driving places I’ve never been and looking at the houses, stores, yards, I love to wonder about the people who live there. I soaked up every mile of being in the passenger seat. Thats not to say I didn’t enjoy learning how to drive the RV down the freeway at 75 miles per hour in the dark lol, I enjoyed it all.

My boyfriend and I decided to take a road trip over Christmas break when neither of us had our kids. He found an amazing deal on a RV that needed to get from Las Vegas to Phoenix the same week we were traveling and so we took it!

I’ve never actually traveled in a RV before, I’ve spent the night camping in a camper in my grandparents back yard so this whole experience was new. The bed was less then comfortable, the shower was about 2 feet too small for my companion to fit in and it had a tendency to turn off the heat around 4:30 every morning until we could find which fuse needed to be pulled and reinserted. Let me tell you when it’s 10 degrees outside the RV doesn’t hold on to any warmth for long.

And I loved it. Watching the scenery change from Vegas to the mountains to the grandeur of Zion National Park, and then beyond it to Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon and finally Phoenix was so beautiful. I was quiet and contemplative watching the journey and I hope that didn’t make me a boring travel buddy. I took over 600 photos on my iPhone lol and I was told I should probably be more discriminating with my pictures but I wanted to capture every tiny detail of the beauty.

I definitely love where this road is taking me.

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Friends Are the Spice of Life

About 10 years ago I was sitting in a McDonalds with my 4 young kids. I believe my oldest was only about 10, and we didn’t normally sit in the playground at McDonalds but I had spent the morning at the elementary school with a committee debating reenrolling one of my boys back in school instead of homeschool.

A woman walked in with 2 kids and began talking to me almost immediately. I was not normally very talkative with strangers, and I wondered if she would ever go sit by herself. We spent over a hour with our kids playing and talking. She had just moved to my area less then a hour before and was only at McDonalds because she didn’t know anything or anyone in the area. Before we left we exchanged phone numbers and I laughed because I hadn’t given someone my phone number since my dating years.

Well she called and we hung out and I slowly became used to the fact that she is loud and talkative with absolutely anyone. I stopped being embarrassed when she talked to every clerk, bagger, waiter, stranger in the store and slowly began doing the same. She taught me to be confident and open up. One of her favorite things is to mention things or make jokes that make me blush, I am still an easy target.

She is my best friend. When my marriage ended she gave me courage and strength. She didn’t encourage me to leave but once I had my mind made up she gave me everything I needed to stay strong and finish the course. Sometimes I have moments of doubt on this difficult coarse I choose and wonder if I should have stayed on the safe path. She reminds me of how strong I am, and how brave I have become, and I can’t seem to hear it enough. We have been through so much, with our difficulties raising kids, husbands, health. I don’t know if I would be whole or sane without her support. I am so grateful that she doesn’t get sick of giving me the same advice over and over again because it’s hard. It’s not that I am a slow learner, it’s changing habits and feelings about myself takes a lot of time since I spent many years creating bad ones or accepting others poor opinions of me.

I believe that girlfriends are so important and I am blessed in mine.